Raise Your Presence on LinkedIn Using These Profile Examples
It’s that time of year when we hunker down and devote ourselves to tackling new resolutions in the coming year. And, as we embark on those new efforts, we add things to the list that are both desired and needed, and may even seem a bit daunting, too.
Weight loss. Increased exercise and fitness. Mastering new productivity tools. Examining our mindset and relationships and wanting to improve on them in the new year.
We know what we want to do but sometimes we don’t follow through for whatever reason, and then we give up because we feel overwhelmed.
I’ve spent the past few days of my holiday break doing a reboot of my goals for 2019, and as I reflected upon what worked well in 2018, I also paid attention to what I could have been done differently.
There’s a saying among those of us in the public relations (PR) industry that PR is seen by many businesses, organizations or entrepreneurs as “a nice-to-have” vs. a “need-to-have.” During a period of financial comfort, businesses invest more in PR but when times get tough, some have a knee-jerk reaction to cut or reduce the marketing and/or PR budget right away.
That’s a mistake. It’s precisely those challenging times, which can take advantage of PR plus step up their marketing efforts to keep their business in the public’s eye, and continue with their top-of-mind awareness and customer relationship efforts. After all, you’re wanting to keep people in the buying cycle of your product or service to help you get through those tough times. You want your followers, customers, and prospects to be loyal and connected to you.
Enter your personal brand. Any savvy business professional knows that one’s personal brand is necessary and important to showcase their super specific skillsets, values, integrity, and to build – as author Bob Burg calls it – the “Know, Like, and Trust Factor.”
Building the KLT Factor is critical for a potential buyer who researches you online – or searches for someone like you – to want to do business with you. Depending on your profession, your personal brand can – and should – reinforce your company or business brand.
Your personal brand definitely falls into the need-to-have category and there’s no better place to position yourself and your personal brand than on your LinkedIn profile page.
It matters on your website, too, but you can include so much more detail and credentials on your LinkedIn profile, which a prospect may find helpful and informative in making their buying decision or remaining interested in your content.
We all have a strong desire to understand and trust the person (or company brand) we may consider doing business with over a period of time, especially if we’re making a significant investment of our time and money.
When I have discovery calls with potential new customers, I often share examples of profiles I’ve completed with past clients. In this article, I share a few of those examples so you can see how you might consider stepping up your LinkedIn and personal branding efforts in 2019.
I’d urge you to add making over your LinkedIn presence as a doable resolution in 2019.
LinkedIn has undergone some major changes in the past year, its membership growth is exploding (over 610+ million global users), and savvy professionals know they need to be there in our extremely competitive business landscape. Especially in this day and age.
Your LinkedIn Profile Headline is a Professional Snapshot
In order for prospects to find someone with your super powers and expertise, you must optimize your LinkedIn headline.
The headline is the place where most people typically put their current job title on their profile. Whatever you have listed for your title in the experience section automatically populates in your headline. However, this can be changed and made to set yourself apart from other professionals like you.
Power LinkedIn users know you can use a few different strategies to make your headline different.
One primary method is to research keywords and search engine terms, which describe what you do. Don’t be generic here, though, identify the exact skills you have.
For example, if you’re a financial advisor, don’t just put “financial advisor.” Describe your specialty as a financial advisor. You could list one of your specialty designations if you have any, and you could also add a specialty you have, like “Retirement Strategist.” (Note: if you are a financial advisor, you will need to check with your Compliance department with regard to your profile.)
Remember, when people search for someone like you online, they type in words, which will get them the most detailed results. If they simply type “financial advisor” both Google and LinkedIn Searches will show millions of results for that term. But if you type in “retirement strategist” you will likely be rewarded with more specific results to get you the results you desire.
Take the time to research those keywords and search terms which describe your career, profession or industry.
You can also use a tagline or slogan in the headline in addition to keywords. If you’re inclined to include something a little quirky about your personality or other interests outside of your career, take advantage of that here, as well. You have up to 120 characters for your headline.
Here’s a couple of examples of financial advisors who also have their own firms. (Click on the screen shots to see their full profile.)
Your LinkedIn Summary is the Most Viewed Section of the Profile
If the headline is the snapshot to capture someone’s attention, then your summary is your digital biography, and it is the section where readers go first to learn more about you.
My approach to anyone’s LinkedIn summary is to hook your reader in within those first 3-4 lines so they will click on the “Show More” link to open your full summary. You’ll connect best with your readers if you write in the first person and are conversational in your tone.
Most people begin their summary with content they’ve regurgitated from their resume, C.V. or professional biography. Not a good practice on LinkedIn. The summary is valuable real estate where you can showcase so much more in up to 2,000 characters. Use it.
Trust me when I tell you that – if you’re job seeking - career recruiters, headhunters, and hiring managers want to see something different and learn more about you than what resume protocols dictate.
They want to be dazzled! Your summary should complement your resume or C.V., not copy it verbatim.
Or if a buyer of your products or services is looking for someone with your skills and talents, they want to see something different about you in your summary; they want to know how you can solve their problem or challenge, not a laundry list of everything you’ve done in the past. They also want to make a connection and relate to you as an individual.
The summary is also where I teach my clients to identify an aspect of their personal story as it relates to their professional expertise. This one strategy alone is a huge game-changer in how you position yourself online using the LinkedIn platform.
While I have hundreds of examples, I’ll share a few here so you can see how these LinkedIn users have shared their story as it relates to their profession or their thought leadership in a particular industry.
(Note: The following screen shots only show about the first third of each profile's summary. Click on the image to see their full profile.)
Add Your Existing Digital Assets as Rich Media to the Profile
LinkedIn is the best online platform for you to share your portfolio of expertise and provide proof of the personal brand you’ve worked so hard to develop.
Whether you’ve been a guest on a podcast or webcast, interviewed by a journalist on TV, radio or in print or by a professional blogger for an industry-specific article, these are all digital assets which you should add to your profile.
While it provides real credentials, LinkedIn’s algorithm also loves it when you take advantage of sharing rich media. You can also add presentations you’ve created, white papers or articles you’ve authored, as well as any other links to other videos or websites you’d like a viewer to see.
Not only can you add rich media to your summary but it can also be added from within your varied roles in the experience section.
A couple examples:
Adding Accomplishments Raises Your Rank
After you’ve tackled the tips I’ve shared here, I hope you’ll also make the time to add in your various accomplishments, too. It’s okay to go back a few years with this, too.
Add volunteer experience. Know why that’s important? It’s a way to tell more of your personal story by showing what you do as a human being whether it’s related to your work or not.
It’s another way for a reader or prospect to connect with you.
Add any organizations to which you belong within your industry and provide context by writing about them in the description. Add any of your recent or current projects you’re working on. If you lead speaking or training gigs, this is a great place to add those.
LinkedIn is growing by leaps and bounds. Microsoft, Inc. bought LinkedIn nearly two years ago and their influence on the platform is showing. In fact, for users of Microsofts’ Outlook program, LinkedIn profiles will be connected to Outlook.
Video on LinkedIn is hot right now as many people are realizing what they can do to tell about what they or their company does vs. just writing about it. Are you taking advantage of putting out meaningful content on LinkedIn?
Just like anything, we all need our primary tools in our marketing toolbox to stand out from our competition. LinkedIn can be one of those tools.
Consider ways you may want to revamp your LinkedIn profile in 2019 so you can disrupt the norm and captivate readers’ attention, so they may want to hire you to solve their professional challenges.